It has been a little over thirty years since I received my endowment at the temple.
You have a new boss (not the one portrayed above). Against all precedent, he doesn’t change all the old boss’s policies. He keeeps all the ones that working. You’re pretty impressed with your new boss. He is one of a kind. (more…)
I just finished listening to the Anabasis on a free librivox.org recording. It’s been over a decade since I read it last. It surprised me. It had a lot to say about democracy, free speech, and faith. (more…)
I’ve been writing a lot about the nameless virtue, which is the virtue of unironically recognizing and praising standards that you yourself fall short of. The nameless virtue is easy to recognize when we’re talking about conventional sins and shortcomings. The inmate telling kids to stay away from the gangster life, the alcoholic who wishes he’d never taken that first drink, those are all standard fare. Along the same lines, what first brought the nameless virtue to my attention were Mormons who missed out on the basic steps of Mormon life extolling those steps. Those kinds of exceptions that prove the rule make the nameless virtue pretty apparent. (more…)
Those words would be as good an answer as I could give to the question originally addressed to Conan the Barbarian: “What is best in life?”
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill,Deseret Review | Tags: birth dearth, children, culture, demography, economics, education, family, fatherhood, LDS, Mormon, Mormonism
Two observations about the Book of Omni. The first is that the meeting with the Mulekites is actually quite important for the Nephites, because the Mulekites confirm that Jerusalem fell. Whether or not Jerusalem would fall was the major doctrinal conflict between Nephi and his brothers. Lehi has a vision to confirm it, and so does Jacob, but for obvious reasons their vision that their prophecies were right doesn’t really validate their prophetic authority. We don’t pay much attention to the Jerusalem prophecy because we already know Jerusalem fell. But the Nephites aren’t us. It meant something to them. (more…)
Theological refinement is the kind of progress that results in organizational bankruptcy
Doctrine often seems to become accommodated and secularized whenever it is delivered into the control of intellectuals
— Thus Finke and Stark, via Ivan W. at Millenial Star
I have a big, green lawn that wraps around the house. I just finished scattering gypsum and reseeding a few bare patches. That’s my lawncare routine: fertilizer once or twice a year, gypsum once or twice a year, pull dandelions, maybe spray for dandelions when my dander gets up, and reseed occasionally. My kids mow it (high), and I water well. This is not a demanding routine. But it seems to work. My lawn isn’t manicured but it is cool and soft and looks inviting.
Lawns have a bad rap. They take up too much time, they take up too much space, they take up too much water. Water, I don’t think people should care about. Water is a renewable resource. Dearth of water in any one area is just a technical and political problem.
Lawns do take up some time and space. But so do kids. If kids are what your lawn is for, it takes away the problem. (more…)
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill,Deseret Review | Tags: Christian dad, Christian father, dad, fatherhood, LDS, Mormon, Mormon dad, Mormon father, Mormon manliness, Mormonism, on the sweetness of Mormon life, son
Second Nephi Ch. 31 is not authentic.
It is not a forgery. It is not a fabrication. But the spirit of the age embraces the cult of authenticity, and Second Nephi Ch. 31 could not be more against the spirit of the age if it emitted unlicensed pollutants from burning iPhones. (more…)
The Bonald has a choice little esssay on intrinsic failure modes. Here is what he says about Christianity.
How about a Christian neighbor? Better stay on your toes. She might hear one too many times about tax collectors and prostitutes getting into heaven before priests, and it may trigger Moral Inversion Syndrome, and she’ll go around haranguing her fellow Christians about the many moral lessons they can learn from prostitutes. This sort of thing is not the proper interpretation, but I’m afraid all Christians are prone to it. We know that we’re all sinners, so we tend to imagine that spectacular sinners have some deeper spiritual awareness, or at least they’re not “hypocrites” like respectable Christians.
You’ll notice that the Bonald’s intrinsic religious failure modes look very much like a dumb critic’s strawman of the religion’s belief. That is because the strawman version of a belief is usually entropic. A critic isn’t going to take the time and effort to put energy into making a belief he hates more nuanced and ordered. Entropy is universal, so believers are prone to it to. Intrinsic religious failure modes are when believers strawman themselves. (more…)
When I was a kid, bloating loomed pretty large in my mental landscape. We had ten acres of alfalfa, a milk cow, and several beef cattle, and we had to worry a lot about keeping the cattle from getting in to the alfalfa in the summer, or about chasing them out once they had got in. Because if they were allowed to, they would eat and eat the fresh, green alfalfa until their stomachs bloated up with methane gas and they died.
I saw a neighbor’s cow die of it. She was collapsed on the ground, her sides was bloated up like a balloon and she was fighting weakly to breath, and then she stopped. My dad saved our own cow when she got bloat. We found her in the field, where she shouldn’t be, staggering and distended. My dad came out with a hollow tube that was sharp at one end. My uncle steadied her while my dad stabbed the tube hard into her side. Green slime and gas exploded out. It all made quite an impression on my young mind. I was somber about bloating, the way little kids can be when they are trying on being serious.
That all came back to mind recently. I am looking into getting livestock of my own in a small way. Most varieties of domestic animal I consider, the authorities warn that they are prone to overeating or overdrinking this or that, with the result that they die. Cattle aren’t the only animals that can satisfy themselves to death. (more…)
Humanity has changed much of Nature for the better. Dogs and cats often get along and serve us in their own way. Horses bear us around (they were not always capable of that, even in biblical times) and cattle provide milk and meat. Likewise, we have sheep, goats and pigs that are little like their wild counterparts. But some of the most interesting change, is seen in the vegetable kingdom. Nature is no ideal Eden without Adam & Eve making improvements.
t/p James Kennedy Monash blog
This is to keep some links handy.
Lehi in the Desert, the World of the Jaredites, There Were Jaredites (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 5) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley (Author), John W. Welch (Editor), Darrell L. Matthews (Editor), Stephen R. Callister (Editor). ISBN: 0875791328.
Approaching Zion (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 9) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley (Author), Don E. Norton (Editor). ISBN: 0875792529. A very popular book among Nibley fans.
Here are some books about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. (Written from a faithful persepctive.)
Doubleday edition of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ (Hardcover). ISBN 038551316X. This is a recent, but not the current, official edition of the Book of Mormon, without footnotes, and it has no index. Has a pronouncing guide, and a brief reference guide in the back.
Original 1830 edition. paperback. ISBN: 0976402513.
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (Paperback) Richard Lyman Bushman. ISBN: 1400077532. I like this book. It’s written from a faithful perspective, and from a scholarly perspective that makes it palatable for non-members to get an even-handed and non-proselyting delivery of the story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. If you (LDS or non-LDS) have an intellectual curiosity about the history of Joseph Smith and the early church, this is the book for you.
The Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Edition (Paperback) Grant Hardy (Editor). ISBN: 025207341X. This book is the 1830 edition (no break-down into verses), typeset in a way that makes for easy reading, and sets aparts the quotes. The “reading appearance” makes it more of a regular read as opposed to “reading scripture.”
The Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Edition (Hardcover) Grant Hardy (Editor). ISBN: 0252027973.
The Book of Mormon Movie – Volume 1 – The Journey. Most of it is cheesey and unprofessional, but it’s a landmark. Some of the scenes are real groaners, but this movie was a major step taken in dramatizing the Book of Mormon. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND buying this for historical purposes. And, there are actually a couple good scenes in it. ASIN: B0002ER5VQ. Also look for it on ebay.
Book of Mormon. Facsimile Reprint of 1830 First Edition (Hardcover). ASIN: B000HP2QQY.
Book of Mormon: 1830 Replica Edition (Leather Bound). ISBN: 0929753208.
The Book of Mormon – The Earliest Text. Edited by Royal Skousen. ISBN: 0300142188. “Royal Skousen has single-handedly brought the textual analysis of the Book of Mormon to a professional level on par with the finest classical and biblical scholarship. This volume is the culmination of his labors, and it is the most textually significant edition since Joseph Smith’s work was first published in 1830. It takes us back to the original manuscript (as best we can reconstruct it) and sometimes beyond, to the very words that were first spoken by Joseph Smith to his scribes.”-Grant Hardy, from the Introduction. == Completely redesigned and typeset by nationally award-winning typographer Jonathan Saltzman, this new edition has been reformatted in sense-lines, making the text much more logical and pleasurable to read. Featuring a lucid introduction by historian Grant Hardy, the Yale edition serves not only as the most accurate version of the Book of Mormon ever published but also as an illuminating entryway into a vital religious tradition.